How To Achieve Service Performance Standard And Good Customer Satisfaction
This study was carried out to assess how to achieve service performance standard and good customer satisfaction. This was done using the hospitality industry, specifically Monty Suites in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. The research was approached using a cross-sectional survey. The researcher used questionnaires to collect primary data from the respondents using closed ended questions which gave the researchers a chance to get specific answers towards their research. The study revealed that each method of Quality Control has an impact on Customer Satisfaction.
The Quality Control method with the highest impact was Statistical Quality Control which shows that it has great influence on the quality of output by the employees and had a great influence on ensuring customers are served within a specified time period. The study recommends that management should therefore have structures in place that ensure that the procedure of performance measurement is clear to all employees such as periodic performance appraisal.
Table Of Content
- Table of Content
- Background of the study
- Quality Control
- Customer Satisfaction
- Hospitality industry
- Statement of the Problem
- Research Objectives
- Significance of the Study
- Conceptual Literature Review
- Concept of Quality
- Quality Control
- Methods of Quality Control
- Statistical Quality Control
- Quality Circles
- Total Quality Management
- Customer Satisfaction Management
- Employee Job Performance.
- Empirical Studies on effect of Quality Control on Customer Satisfaction
- Summary of Literature review
- Conceptual Framework
- Research Design
- Target Population
- Data collection
Analysis and Interpretation of Data
- Demographic characteristics of the respondents
- Regression Analysis
Summary, Discussions, Conclusions and Recommendations
- Summary and Discussions
Background of the study
In pursuit of better Customer Satisfaction and customer satisfaction, organizations are looking for and investing in strategies to enhance output. Heterogeneity being a key characteristic of services, service firms are determined to optimize their employees’ output in order to ensure that their customers are always contented as a result of consuming quality delivered services (James and Mona, 2011). Service firms are thus implementing Quality Control (QC) in their operations so as to ensure that their employees always perform their tasks right the first time and that their customers’ expectations are always met or exceeded after consumption of the firm’s products or services.
Quality control techniques, their capabilities and limitations should never by themselves dictate the employees’ performance. It is by weaving these quality control techniques into the fabric of the employees operations that a company can bring the most value from its Customer Satisfaction as observed by Aquilano and Chase (1991). A service firm that therefore integrates quality control systems directly into its employees’ operations stands the best chance to optimize its employee goals, and thus increase customer satisfaction. Therefore, the best model for better Customer Satisfaction is to fully integrate all its quality control systems and its employees operations into one set of intimately linked processes.
With customers in the service market being not only cautious with the quality of products and services they consume, but also in the manner in which the latter is delivered, and them being also key participants in the delivery system of the service, organizations are forced to implement quality control techniques in their operations in order to assist and ensure that their employees perform their respective tasks the right way the first time. Quality control thus assists and ensures that the employees are able to meet or exceed their customers’ expectations of the service or product by delivering the services or products effectively, that is in the quality expected by the customers (Aquilano and Chase, 1991).
Quality control is a procedure or set of procedures intended to ensure that a manufactured products or performed service adheres to a defined set of quality criteria or meets the requirements of the customer (Oakland, 1986). According to Evans and Lindsay (2002), quality control is a management system for initiating and coordinating quality development, quality maintenance and quality improvement in various departments of design and manufacturing, for achieving the twin objectives of economical production and customer satisfaction.
In pursuit of efficiency in operational performance by organizations in terms of reduction of the total cost of quality, organizations recognize the need to implement quality control in their operations especially at the point of manufacture or operation, and not only at the final product or service stage. Organizations have it right to apply cost-effective control techniques to ensure that all goods and services are generated correctly the first time. The logic is not to ask whether the job has been done correctly, instead the prudent question to always ask first is: can we do the job correctly? (Oakland, 1986).
With increased competition and consumer awareness of quality, organizations are implementing quality control techniques in their operations to ensure that they perform their operations, production and delivery of their goods or services, correctly the first time. Examples of quality control techniques that can be implemented by organizations to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of its operations in terms of providing products and services that are dependable, satisfactory and economical, ensuring economic production of products and delivery of services of uniform quality acceptable to the customer, and preventing the occurrence of defect products or service, include; Quality at the source, Inspection, Statistical Quality Control (SQC), Quality Circle, and Total Quality Management (TQM) (Barnes, 2008).
Effective performance management is designed to enhance performance, identify performance requirements, provide feedback relevant to those requirements and assist with career development (Ainsworth, Smith and Millership, 2008). The idea is that performance management is best served by developing a system that is interactive and capable of resolving performance related issues. Organizations make investments in their human capital to improve performance and target higher niches in the market through delivery of high quality services (Appelbaum, Bailey and Berg, 2000).Customer Satisfaction affects the overall performance of an organization and its bottom-line (Purcell and Hutchison 2007).
Customer Satisfaction is influenced by motivation. Armstrong (2009) points out that motivation is concerned with the strength and direction of behavior and the factors that influence people to behave in certain ways. Buchner (2007) points to control theory as a basis for critically assessing performance feedback provided through performance management. Stearns and Aldag (1987) define feedback as information that is received about activities in the organization. The information about activities is fed back to key decision makers who then use it to correct situations in the organization. On-going feedback and support are considered an absolute necessity though the extent to which it takes place is questionable (Coens and Jenkins, 2000). The annual appraisal remains the dominant mechanism whereby objectives are set and feedback is provided (Armstrong, 2009). In situations where performance is less than expected a reappraisal will allow employees to see how their performance is reviewed and what is required to engender improved performance (Williams, 2002).
Hospitality is the relationship process, presentation, formality and procedure experienced between a visitor/ customer/ guest and a host. It specifically includes the reception and entertainment of those who require or invited to experience an organization’s service. Taking all this into account is in order so as to provide excellent customer service. The way in which different cultures and subcultures expect to be treated in terms of the hospitality offered wavers greatly and it is important that hospitality is measured in terms of what the customer expects as opposed to what the employees themselves expect (HYPERLINK www.blurtit.com, accessed on July 21, 2014).
According to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS 2012), the hospitality industry is classified as part of the larger service-providing industry and is divided into two sectors: food and accommodation services and arts and entertainment. The hotel and restaurant industries are included within the food and accommodation sector. People who work at an amusement park are included within the arts and entertainment sector. Within the food and accommodation sector, there are two sub-sectors: accommodation and food services and drinking places. Establishments such as hotels, which provide customers with lodging, and places that prepare meals, snacks or beverages for immediate consumption are considered hospitality establishments. Job descriptions within the food and beverage hospitality industry include hotel, motel and resort desk clerks, fast food cooks, restaurant cooks, waiters, waitresses and combined food preparation and serving workers (NAICS 2012).
Statement of the Problem
Quality control costs a lot of money for the service industries as well as the government. Studies by Kellog et al (1997) have shown that service quality control has been receiving much attention because of its positive relationship to costs. It is therefore imperative to understand the context of quality in the hospitality industry and what its indicators are within individual organizations.
The challenges associated with implementing quality control are significant as the key to service quality is to meet or exceed consumer expectations. One problem with measuring customers’ satisfaction is that there may often be discrepancies between the consumer’s viewpoints and the provider’s understandings of what constitutes quality service (Pariseau and McDaniel, 1997).
Any differences between consumer viewpoints and the organization’s perception of consumer viewpoints on quality are important to identify and determine the level and quality of the service provided (Douglas and Connor, 2003).
Previously scholars have tried to look at the link between quality management practices and organizational performance. Feng, Terziovski and Samson (2008) in their paper on the relationship of ISO 9001:2000 quality system certification with operational and business performance, examined manufacturing and service companies in Australia and New Zealand.
The reports’ central finding was that ISO 9001 certification has a positive and significant effect on operational performance, but a weak effect on business performance. The latter point lead the report to conclude that ISO 9000 certification by itself does not lead to improvement in business performance, a commonly held view, but there are such a variety of factors on company performance. Waldman (1994) looked at the contributions of total quality management to a theory of work performance and found that the system was viewed as affecting performance by indirectly enhancing aspects of the person interacting with the person in terms of person/system fit, and constraining performance at lower hierarchical levels and in jobs lacking autonomy. He thus recommended that both person and system factors must be considered simultaneously when modeling the determinants of performance.
Locally, Sokoro (2012) researched on the factors that influence Customer Satisfaction in Kenya Wildlife Services. He found that that both organization and individual factors affect the overall effectiveness of Customer Satisfaction. The three biggest factors were organizational structure, an enabling work environment and incentives.
Quality Control is implemented by management and needs a solid organizational structure to support it. Previous studies have not focused on quality control methods and Customer Satisfaction in the hospitality industry. This study therefore seeks to find out how quality control methods impacts on employees performance within the hospitality industry in Kenya.
The general objective of this study is to find out the impact of quality control on employees performance while the specific objectives of this study are:
- To establish what methods of service performance standard are used by the Monty Suites, Uyo.
- To assess the impact of quality control practices on employees performance in Monty Suites- Uyo.
- To identify challenges involved in quality control implementation in Monty Suites- Uyo.
Significance of the Study
This paper contributes towards building of literature on the relationship of quality control implementation and employees’ performance especially on how to utilize QC techniques towards improving Customer Satisfaction which in turn leads to sustainable business firms that continue to play a key role in Kenya’s economy. Service firms, especially those in the hospitality industry, will make use of the findings of this research project in understanding the extent and relationship of QC implementation on their employees’ performance.
This paper also seeks to advance the body of knowledge so that future managers build upon the concept of QC integration and Customer Satisfaction. The result of the study puts forth a simple framework of QC solutions that enhance Customer Satisfaction and explain why managers should consider their use. Quality Control is a growing field of study that has not been widely looked into and therefore other researchers and academicians in institutions of higher learning will use the findings of this study to answer and gather more information or knowledge about QC implementation in service firm operations and its contribution to Customer Satisfaction and the economy at large.
Summary, Discussions, Conclusions And Recommendations
This chapter presents a summary of the findings, draws conclusion based on the three specific objectives of this study which were to establish what methods of quality control are used by the Monty Suites- Uyo, to assess the impact of quality control practices on employees performance at the Monty Suites- Uyo and identify challenges involved in quality control implementation in Monty Suites- Uyo. It also includes the study recommendation for improvement and for further research.
Summary and Discussions
The first objective of the study was to establish what methods of quality control are used by the Monty Suites- Uyo. The study found that Hotel uses Statistical Quality Control, Total Quality Management, Quality Circles and Inspection and Other Models (Seminars, Training). Statistical Quality Control was the method indicated by the respondents as largely practiced at 50% followed at 25 per cent of the respondents who indicated that Total Quality Control was used. 10.7 per cent of the respondents indicated that Quality Circles while inspection and Other Models (Seminars, Training) each had 7.1 per cent of the respondents establishing that they were used by the Monty Suites- Uyo.
The second objective of the study investigated the impact of quality control practices on Customer Satisfaction at the Monty Suites- Uyo through regression and correlation analysis. Analysis in table 4.4 shows that the coefficient of determination R-squared equals 0.734 that is, inspection, total quality management, statistical control and quality cycles explain 73.4 percent of Customer Satisfaction while from the table 4.3, all the predictor variables were shown to have a positive association between them; with the strongest (0.769) being indicated between performance and SQC, while the weakest (0.169) between performance and TQM.
From these findings, it can be noted that Inspection, total quality management, statistical control and quality cycles relate to Customer Satisfaction, where a significant increase in each of these influences Customer Satisfaction in Monty Suites- Uyo.
The regression model was: Y = bo + b1SQC+ b2QC+ b3I+ b4TQM
The results therefore shows that one unit change in SQC results in 0.705 increase in Customer Satisfaction, one unit change in QC results in 0.573 increase in Customer Satisfaction, one unit change in inspection usage results in 0.423 increase in Customer Satisfaction and one unit change in TQM results in 0.302 increase in Customer Satisfaction.
Statistical Quality Control method of quality control that had the greatest impact on Customer Satisfaction with a mean score of 4.684; the second was Quality Circles with a mean score of 4.592. The third was Inspection with a mean score of 4.175 and the last was Total Quality management with a mean score of 3.833.
The third objective of the study investigated the challenges of implementation of the methods of Quality Control. The results indicated that the Monty Suites- Uyo did not experience challenges. The study found that the Monty Suites- Uyo had overcome most known challenges. For instance employees not being kept updated with changes in job skills and design had a mean score of 1.631, lack of management support to quality circle meetings had a mean of 2.0 and lack of co-operation between employees to find solutions to their work problems had a mean of 1.578. Proper measurement of performance had a mean of 2.947 and adequate rewards being received upon good performance had a mean of 2.263.
The study revealed that each method of Quality Control has an impact on Customer Satisfaction. The Quality Control method with the highest impact was Statistical Quality Control which shows that it has great influence on the quality of output by the employees and had a great influence on ensuring customers are served within a specified time period, that employees serve customers in exact same manner and facilities are standardised offering same service to every customer thus ensuring quality of service is maintained in all customer service processes.
Quality circles was shown to be second method in terms of impact on Customer Satisfaction and was seen to help in the reduction of errors, ensuring customer satisfaction in the services provided and helping employees perform their job as described. Inspection, though seen to have the lowest presence in terms of methods of quality control practiced, was seen to have an impact on reduction in the number of errors detected, reducing the amount of customer complaints received and overall improvement of an employees work.
TQM though recognized by 25% of the respondents as a method of QC that is implemented, had the lowest impact amongst the four methods of Quality Control. It was seen to have an impact on reducing the need to repeat services, encouraging employees to participate in suggestion of ways of improving their performance, creating training methods that are satisfactory to the employees and encouraging management leading by example.
The study recommends the following issues where respondents were neutral to be addressed to enhance the implementation of quality control methods at the Monty Suites- Uyo. In respect to proper measurement of their performance, the respondents were neutral as to whether it is a challenge. The management should therefore have structures in place that ensure that the procedure of performance measurement is clear to all employees such as periodic performance appraisal.
Suggestion for further study
The results show that the Monty Suites– Uyo has established and are using the key known methods of Quality Control. The researchers recommend that a study be carried out to ascertain the benefits gained so far as a result of implementing these methods.
It is further recommended that the same study be conducted to include the views of all the employees in the hotel. This is because this study involved only the views of the respondents in Human Resource, Sales Management and Room Operations.
Finally, another research can be carried out to determine what other methods of overall quality management are being used in the hospitality industry in Kenya and their impact on organizational and Customer Satisfaction.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is customer satisfaction and why is it important?
Customer satisfaction is defined as how happy your customers are using your company’s products or services. It can be also reflected in how they rate your business and how they refer it to their friends or families.
What can measuring customer service performance do for You?
Measuring customer service performance will provide you with interesting insights. From there, you can improve your team’s performance and set KPI’s. So, what can we measure exactly?
How can you improve customer satisfaction?
Make Sure Your Entire Team Is Managing Customer Satisfaction: While some departments are far removed from direct customer contact, every part of business influences overall customer satisfaction. This article offers several tips for engaging the broader organization and developing a “customer service” mentality.
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What are the factors affecting customer satisfaction?
“The single most important factor that affects customer satisfaction is employee satisfaction,” says Howard J. Ross, president of a Maryland-based consulting firm. “Employees who feel satisfied and happy at their jobs naturally tend to be more helpful and considerate toward customers. It’s simple logic.
How do you evaluate customer satisfaction?
How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? Here’s a look at the most used metrics when it comes to measuring customer satisfaction. Customer Satisfaction Score. Net Promoter Score. Customer Effort Score. In-app customer surveys. Post-service customer surveys. Customer Surveys via Email. Volunteered feedback. Survey best practices.
How to create an effective customer experience survey?
Customer surveys help you gather data at specific touch points (e.g., immediately after a sale, when a potential customer chooses to leave a website without purchasing, or after a customer support ticket gets resolved and closed), and acting on the insight you collect will help you improve the experience for both your current and future customers.
How to measure customer satisfaction correctly?
“Overall” satisfaction is normally determined by a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). This metric is the average rating of responses you get from your customers. The scale can range between 1 – 3 or 1 – 5.